Foxconn Labor Army Swells to 1 Million
report earlier this week noted that Foxconn may begin shipping 400,000-600,000 units of the iPad 2 by the end of February 2011. Foxconn had no comment on the DigiTimes
report. But this time around, the prominent Chinese-based Apple partner doesn't need to say much to confirm the hustle and bustle of the assembly season in China.
On Friday morning, Foxconn confirmed that its Chinese workforce has grown exponentially in recent months, with the number of employees at Foxconn now exceeding one million. But Foxconn isn't satisfied with the size of its present workforce. According to published reports by Bloomberg, the "recruitment drive" continues and likely will until another quarter-million employees find their place on the assembly lines. “We’re still hiring as we speak,” Louis Woo, a special assistant to the chief executive officer, tells Bloomberg. “Because of the Christmas holiday, everybody is working very hard.”
To blame the rush of the hiring frenzy on the holiday season, however, may be slightly disingenuous. Indeed, Apple needs - in fact, depends on - Foxconn to crank out both current and next generation models of the iPad. Foxconn, the largest private employer in China, has been seriously criticized in the past for cultivating poor working conditions and deplorable pay. In 2010 alone, countless employees (the actual number is believed to be unknown) at the the sprawling Shenzhen factory committed suicide - at the plant. Foxconn, which also manufactures iPhones, iPod and iMacs, not to mention Sony Ericsson and other phones, has come under increasing fire for what labor activists call inhumane conditions at the factory.